Turkish public workers’ salary rise a success, union head says

Turkish public workers’ salary rise a success, union head says

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkish public workers’ salary rise a success, union head says

The Memur-Sen signed a labor agreement with the government on Aug. 7. AA photo

The Civil Servants’ Trade Union (Memur-Sen), which signed a collective bargaining agreement with the government on Aug. 7, has defended the success of the deal against claims of other public union confederations that accused Memur-Sen of concluding the negotiations too soon and doing with less.

According to the agreement, the government will raise base salaries by 175 Turkish Liras in 2014 and the 3+3 percent increase, as well as adjusting for inflation in the first and second half of 2015. They will also make an additional payment of 150 liras to teachers.

The Turkish Public Workers’ Labor Union (Kamu-Sen) and the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) criticized the Memur-Sen following signing the agreement. They said while the Memur-Sen had 30 days for negotiations with the government, they ended the talks in two “close” sessions by the end of seventh day without discussing the public workers’ problems. They also criticized that the salary rise of the employees, including 2.4 million public workers and 1.8 million retired public workers, wasn’t satisfied.

However, the Memur-Sen President Ahmet Gündoğdu said two confederations’ efforts to show the collective bargaining agreement as a “failure” is the appearance of their jealousy because they couldn’t receive an offer from the Public Employer Council during the negotiation process, during a meeting attended by the member unions’ heads yesterday. Gündoğdu stated that the agreement has the highest base salary rise in the last ten years. “The base salary increased from 1,202 Turkish Liras to 1,027 liras with a 175 liras hike for the first time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said the rise in the public workers’ salaries would add a cost of 3 billion liras to the 2014 budget.